Sudden onset sensorineural hearing loss is an otological emergency. Although deafness is recognised as being associated with polyarteritis nodosa (PAN) only very rarely does it herald the disease. We describe a case of bilateral, sudden onset vestibulo-cochlear failure which with thorough investigation proved to be the presenting complaint of PAN.
This diagnosis enabled definitive management of a multi-system disorder and resulted in an improvement of the initial symptom with the chemotherapeutic regime discussed.
We review the involvement of PAN in deafness and hope this case will remind otolaryngologists of the need for full investigation of the above mentioned emergency, in an attempt to discover and hence direct management towards a specific underlying pathology.